Chopper crashes in Mt Aspiring National Park

Four helicopters were sent to the scene, including one carrying paramedics and crash rescue medics.
Four helicopters were sent to the scene, including one carrying paramedics and crash rescue medics.

Twelve people were airlifted from Tyndall Glacier this afternoon after a helicopter clipped another chopper and rolled while landing.

The helicopter crashed near the head of the Shotover River in Mt Aspiring National Park just after 3pm with seven people on board.

The pilot was injured, while the passengers and those on the second helicopter escaped with only minor injuries.

A Rescue Coordination Centre spokeswoman said the helicopter appeared to have clipped another while landing on the Tyndall Glacier, and crashed.

Sarah Brazil said an emergency locator beacon was activated by one of the helicopters and a mayday call was received about 3.15pm.

Four helicopters were sent to the scene, including one carrying paramedics and crash rescue medics.

Ms Brazil said both helicopters involved in the crash were from the same company.

Search Mission Coordinator Kevin Banaghan said four rescue helicopters had worked together to retrieve the pilot and passengers.

Eleven people with various minor injuries were brought to Queenstown Airport about 5.15pm. The injured pilot was taken to Queenstown Hospital and was expected to be transferred to Dunedin Hospital this evening.

The extent of his injuries were not known.

The Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) had been informed of the incident.

TAIC said two investigators would travel to Queenstown tomorrow then continue on to the accident site.

They would gather background information on the flight, interview witnesses, and inspect the accident site and wreckage before any recovery work began.

- APNZ

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